Personality and Social Psychology Review
Personality and Social Psychology Review (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Globalisation has existed for many centuries as a process by which cultures influence and change one another through trade, migration, and communication. Yet, the speed and breadth of these processes have accelerated in the last few decades. Globalisation is not only about the exchange of material goods, but also entails the exchange of people, information, and ideas. The consequences are profound social, informational and technological changes. The “revolutionary advances in electronic technologies and globalisation are transforming the nature, speed, and loci of human influence” (Bandura, 2001). This makes it possible that social phenomena in one part of the world can easily impact on individuals and groups in another part of the world – often with ambivalent consequences.

On the one hand, globalization is often perceived as a potential threat to the viability of local cultures, undermining people’s sense of community and cultural identity. On the other hand, it can be seen as a process that may open minds to new experiences, remove cultural barriers, and accelerate cultural innovations. Whether perceived in a negative or positive light, globalization has an important impact on psychological functioning by changing how humans perceive themselves and others.

In this workshop we plan to examine the social psychological dynamics of identity in a globalized world. Making use of the conceptual and empirical tools of a social psychological approach, we are interested in the interaction between macro-level (socio-cultural context) and micro-level (individuals) processes. This will allow us to develop our understanding of how individuals reflect on and are influenced by macro processes (economic, political, societal change), and how these processes might transform (social) identities, attitudes, emotions, and behaviour.

The current meeting aims to bring together researchers from different backgrounds to investigate the question of identity in a globalized world from a variety of perspectives and to exchange ideas on how to develop a social psychology of globalization. Thus, we are interested in contributions from researchers who have conducted research on the social psychology of globalization, who are working on domains in social psychology that are relevant for globalization processes (e.g., migration, acculturation, intergroup relations, collective action, identity threat), and who have a background in other social sciences dealing with globalization (e.g., economists, political scientists, sociologists).

The conference will be held from 31 May to 3 June 2013 near Stralsund in Germany, on the Island of Vilm in the Baltic Sea, which hosts an intriguing conference venue that provides serenity and a frame for productive group dynamics. By train, it is 3 hours north of Berlin. We are planning a conference with around 20-25 researchers. Talks will be in single sessions with 45 min slots to allow sufficient time for presentation and in-depth discussion. Confirmed Keynote Speakers are Sam McFarland (Western Kentucky University, USA) and Sylvia Chen (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong).

A participation fee of about 200 euros will be charged. This includes 3 nights accommodation and full board on the Island of Vilm as well as transportation from/to Stralsund.

Please send an email to Gerhard.reese@uni.lu indicating that you would like to participate until 20 November 2012 with a tentative title. An abstract of less than 200 words should be sent to Gerhard.reese@uni.lu until 15 December 2012. Decisions will be communicated by 15 January 2013.

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